<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/photo21.jpg” />While we all love our iPhones, there’s probably a few things we wish we could tweak or change about them. This is a list of common iPhone complaints, which luckily have a solution. Most of these solutions, however, require that you have a jailbroken phone.
If you’re not sure how to jailbreak your phone, the instructions can be found in MakeUseOf’s Unofficial Guide to the iPhone.
So here are 7 common iPhone complaints and how to solve them.
1. I Can’t Add Items Or Widgets To My Lock Screen
One of the main iPhone complaints about the iPhone OS, in comparison to other smartphones, is the inability to add widgets or information to your lock screen. LockInfo, available on Cydia, is a paid solution which gives iPhone users the ability to see certain information on their screen at a glance, such as your latest emails, upcoming appointments in your calendar, missed calls, text messages, weather conditions, and voicemail.
Extracan also be downloaded from Cydia including a Twitter widget to see your friends latest tweets, an Appigo ToDo widget and a clock widget.
After installing the app, it will appear under your iPhone settings. You can toggle the lock screen on and off, choose which plugins you would like to appear on your screen, and customize each plugin.
The mail widget allows you to read and delete emails directly from your lock screen, provided that the Mail app is running in the background.
You can change the order in which the plugins appear under the settings. by dragging each item to its spot on the list. You can also replace the native iPhone clock with a calendar and clock widget, as well as change the overall appearance, provided you have Winterboard installed.
Winterboard is available on Cydia, and once you have it installed, you can choose from a few LockInfo themes that are available.
The screenshot on the left shows LockInfo without a theme, and on the right with the theme, Clublife LockInfo installed.
Using a theme, while aesthetically pleasing, has its drawbacks. Only certain widgets are displayed – the clock, weather, calendar and mail widgets, and you cannot rearrange their order. The rest of the widgets such as missed calls and text messages will only appear when you actually have a notification. The mail widget loses its ability to preview and delete emails, and the weather widget requires you to edit the theme files in order to display your city’s weather conditions.
Editing the file will require you to access your iPhone’s internal files. There are a variety of ways you can do this, as is explained in 6 Ways to Turn Your iPhone into an External Hard Disk. You can also use the free Mac/Windows app, iPhone Explorer.
Navigate to the following folders in your iPhone: private/var/stash/themes/YOUR THEME FOLDER/bundles/com.ashman.LockInfo
Copy the file ‘config.js‘ to your desktop – using iPhone Explorer, and open it up using any text editor.
Scroll down to “Weather Settings,” and if you live in the USA, change the locale to your zip code. Here you can also choose to use Fahrenheit or Celsius.
For everyone else, go to AccuWeather, look up your city, and copy and paste the code that appears in the address bar, as it appears in the screenshot below.
LockScreen Dim Delay Control is another app you can install from Cydia to complement LockInfo. It gives you the option, under your iPhone settings, to delay the lock screen going dim for up to 60 seconds.
While LockInfo costs $4.99 in Cydia, thanks to its developer, David Ashman, we have a few licenses to give away. Just leave us a comment letting us know why you think you should get it.
2. I Have An iPhone 2G Or 3G & I Can’t Shoot Videos
When the iPhone 3GS came out, one of the main upgrades it boasted was the addition of video capability. But the iPhone had this capability all along. In the past you had to install it through Cydia, but it is now available as a free download called Qik in the iTunes App Store. [iTunes link]
With Qik, you can record video, and livestream it, or save it to upload to your account Qik at a later time.
In order to use the app, you have to sign up for a free account, but are then able to broadcast your videos to social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
3. I Can’t Multi-Task
One common iPhone complaint is that it can’t run background applications. While there’s a limit to how much I want to do on a mobile device, but it would be nice to be able to switch between my RSS reader and my Twitter client, while listening to music. Using a combination of two Cydia apps you can achieve that.
First you need to install the app Backgrounder from Cydia so that you can run apps in the background. Opening the app gives you access to its settings – namely choosing the toggle button with which to keep a program open in the background. I personally chose to use the power button.
To keep an app running in the background, while it’s open, press the power button until the notification, “Backgrounding enabled” appears. If you have several apps running in the background, you’ll want a way to switch between them. There are two options currently available.
The first is Kirikae. Install it from Cydia, and upon opening the app, you can set up Kirkae to suit your preferences.
First, you need to decide how you want to activate it, with options such as holding down the power button, double clicking the home button, or holding it down until the list of open apps appears. I personally chose to holding down the home button until the list appears, since the other options interfere with my other iPhone controls.
Activating Kirikae can bring you to one of four tabs – a list of active apps, a list of your favourite apps, a spotlight tab, or a springboard tab. I set it to automatically open to the active apps, so that I can quickly switch from one app to another.
When you have an app open, press and hold the home button (or whichever method you choose to use to activate the app), and it will take you to your Kirikae landing page, where you can switch to any of the apps listed in the active tab.
The second option to switch between active apps is ProSwitcher, which offers more of a variety in how to access your active apps, and a much more sophisticated method of switching between them. It does, however, lack the extra tabs that Kirikae offers.
After installing ProSwitcher from Cydia, the settings can be accessed under your iPhone settings.
Activation methods for ProSwitcher include shaking the phone, tapping the status bar, holding down the home button, and using the volume buttons, amongst others. You can also choose to use more than one activation method, but careful what you choose as some of them, such as shaking the iPhone can unintentionally activate ProSwitcher.
Rather than displaying open apps as a list, ProSwitcher displays smaller slightly transparent windows overlaying the springboard or open app, and you can swipe between the different apps, and tap to open.
4. I Can’t Quickly Toggle Bluetooth, WiFi & 3G On & Off
To deal with this particular iPhone complaint, install SBSettings from Cydia, and once you’ve relaunched your springboard, simply swipe your finger across the status bar and it will pull down the menu, where you can toggle your connectivity settings, adjust the brightness of the screen, and close out applications running in the background. You can access these settings regardless of whether you have an app open or not. SBSettings also gives you easy to access to information such as your WiFi IP address, your data IP address, and available memory on the phone, as well as allow you to power off or reboot your phone and restart your springboard.
Toggling certain settings such as 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth, require you to go into your settings, and sometimes dig around to find the kill switch. SBSettings gives you quick access to these options, along with a few others.
SBSettings has a dock button, where you can add your favourite apps for quick access. Tapping the ‘More‘ button takes you into the SBSettings options where you can add more toggle buttons such as SSH, Edge, Airplane Mode, Fast Notes and Location awareness, and decide which apps to include in your dock.
5. I Can’t Remove Native Apple Apps From My Springboard
It might not be a huge deal but another iPhone complaint is that it’s still a bit annoying that you can’t remove any of the Apple native apps on the iPhone. While you can’t remove the app itself, you can at least hide the icon from your springboard using SBSettings.
The option is available when you go into the app’s settings, where you can choose to hide as many icons as you want, whether they are native Apple apps or otherwise.
6. The Native Camera App Is Too Basic
The native iPhone camera app leaves a lot to be desired, and this is one problem that can be remedied without jailbreaking your iPhone.
The free iPhone app 10X Camera Tools [iTunes link] offers a few options that should have shipped with the iPhone in the first place. Using this app, you will be able to zoom and set a 3, 5, 10 or 15 second timer.
You can also add a variety of effects to your photos including sepia, black and white and twilight. You cannot see the effect as you are taking the photo, but the enhancements appear after you have taken it. You can compare it to the original colours, and decide whether to save the original or the enhanced photo.
Photos taken using 10X Camera Tools reside in a photo album within the app, but you have the ability to email the photos, export them to your camera roll, as well as import photos.
Under the settings tab you can set the resolution of the photos and decide whether to delete photos from the album after they have been exported.
The app works in a similar way to the native camera app so you won’t be confused when it comes to accessing your albums, and sharing or deleting photos.
For more iPhone photography apps, try reading Jackson’s article on The Best Free Alternatives To Top Commercial iPhone Photography Apps.
7. I Want To Turn Off Cover Flow On My iPod
It can get pretty irritating when the iPod automatically switches to landscape mode at the slightest movement, or when you get caught in an endless loop of your iPhone screen rotating in the opposite direction you want it to go. The solution for this is not ideal, but it gets the job done. After you’ve installed SBSettings, install another application from Cydia called Rotation Inhibitor.
Once the app is installed, it adds another button to your SBSettings menu to quickly toggle rotation on and off whenever you want.
Do you have any tips and tricks you use with your iPhone? Or perhaps you have your own solutions to these common iPhone complaints? If so, please let us know in the comments. Oh and don’t forget to say in the comments why you want a LockInfo promo code! Be sure to leave your email address so that we can get it touch with you.